Kings & Queens is the debut album from Finnish metalcore group IAMSIN. The five piece was formed in 2013 on the western shores of Finland and this debut is definitely worth the four year wait. The current line-up is vocalist Petter Lὂf, guitarists Conny Segervall and Nikolai Juselius, bassist Michael Mikander and drummer Mika Paananen. We were lucky enough to get to have a listen to the album before it’s release on December 15th through Inverse Records.
The album starts off with the title track Kings & Queens which starts off with heavy guitars, drums and bass. There are both clean and screamed vocals throughout provided by Lὂf that compliment what is happening musically. It’s a very strong opening track and sets the scene for what the rest of the album is going to be.
Track 2 is Sin City which kicks off with a combination of clean and screamed strong and aggressive vocals. The in your face guitars and drums kick in next and continue throughout the song until the breakdown which will encourage you to rock out. It’s a great track to support the opener. Lyrically the song talks about fallen heroes and broken dreams, not wanting to feel this way, and wanting to be stronger and feel better again.
Next up we have What Dwells Within which has a darker opening in terms of sound compared to the first two tracks as well as more aggressive vocally. There; a nice combination between heavy and melodic guitars, which support the mix between the clean and screamed vocals during the chorus. The bass and guitar harmony is impressive and there’s a great guitar solo to play out the track.
Notorious is track four and it has some Interesting yet complimentary sound effects towards the start of the song consisting of a gun being cocked and shot, and a warning alarm. There is a nice contrast between the fast and the slow in terms of sound, with the guitars being much heavier on this track than in the 3 previous tracks.
Now we have Numb which starts off with the sound of a radio being tuned with the guitars almost being background noise before coming in louder. Lyrically the emphasis is on being numb and not feeling like anything is real anymore The lead guitar is heavier and featured more in this track than the rhythm guitar is during the second part of this song with both guitarists showing off their impressive skill.
Don’t Wake Me Up is the sixth track and has a fast, energetic introduction which is accompanied by clean vocals to begin with. Both guitarists have extremely impressive skills that compliment each other and are musically pleasing to hear. Throughout the chorus the vocals are mostly clean but are screamed towards the end. There are featured drum and guitar solos on this track that intermingle with each other and both musicians get the chance to show off their skills. There isn’t really a definitive end to this track and it bleeds into the following song.
Next is Colours which sounds very much like the previous track so the first 30 seconds or so but then changes both pace and tone and shows that it’s a different track. There is an awesome guitar solo during this track which makes it worth checking out.
My Pride is track 8 and is one of the strongest tracks on the album. It was at this point that I got lost in the music and had to listen twice before I could review it. It’s mostly heavy throughout but features yet another kick-ass guitar solo. There are heavy guitars to open and then the drums and bass come in to underpin and compliment what’s already happening. It’s a great track musically and vocally and is definitely one of the highlights.
Track 9 is One By One which was the first track and video to be released from Kings & Queens. It has a strong opening and is quite melodic, but all quite heavy musically. The switch between clean and screamed vocals is very seamless and easy and shows off the singer’s talent. The breakdown halfway through is very pleasing to the ear and amps the listener up for when the vocals come back in again.
Raven Blood is next up and starts off very heavily but creates a great vibe and atmosphere and is a song that you aren’t going to be able to sit still during; you’re going to want to headbang. There are more clean vocals in this one but they are spat with such aggression but are still clear and punchy.
Track 11 is Sleepless and it’s aggressive, fast, punchy and attention grabbing and is another track that is a highlight of the album and is strong musically. Vocally and lyrically is a strong track and is a great precursor to the final track.
The final track is Dismantle The Throne and it has an attention grabbing guitar to introduce the song that plays throughout the majority of the strong, as well as being an undertone to the stronger and heavier guitar and drums. It’s a great track to close out the record and is a great display of what the future could bring for the band. It’s also a nice way to round out the eleven preceding tracks.